Cell phones banned for commercial drivers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Cell phones banned for commercial drivers

Posted: Updated:
  • NEWSMore>>

  • Students welcome new American citizens

    Students welcome new American citizens

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 3:22 AM EDT2014-09-03 07:22:05 GMT
    Twenty-seven people became American citizens in Judge Clay Land's federal courtroom Tuesday. A group of students 8th graders from Brookstone School had a special "government" assignment and headed to theMore >>
    Twenty-seven people became American citizens in Judge Clay Land's federal courtroom Tuesday. A group of students 8th graders from Brookstone School had a special "government" assignment and headed to the federal courthouse to welcome the new citizens.More >>
  • Auburn police search for convenience store robbery suspects

    Auburn police search for convenience store robbery suspects

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 3:20 AM EDT2014-09-03 07:20:03 GMT
    The Auburn Police Division is currently investigating a robbery that occurred Monday, Sept. 1 at a convenience store located in the 1800 block of West Longleaf Drive. At approximately 11:16 p.m. police resMore >>
    The Auburn Police Division is currently investigating a robbery that occurred Monday, Sept. 1 at a convenience store located in the 1800 block of West Longleaf Drive. At approximately 11:16 p.m. police responded to a robbery call at the business. When officers arrived they were informed that two individuals entered the business armed with guns and demanded money.  More >>
  • Baby dies in Columbus house, parents and friends arrested

    Baby dies in Columbus house, parents and friends arrested

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 2:33 AM EDT2014-09-03 06:33:04 GMT
    Hailey Cambron (source: family)Hailey Cambron (source: family)
    Columbus dispatchers received panicked 911 calls from residents in a house on Thomason Avenue complaining that a 9-month-old girl was not breathing. Emergency responders determined that the baby was dead,More >>
    Columbus dispatchers received panicked 911 calls from residents in a house on Thomason Avenue complaining that a 9-month-old girl was not breathing. Emergency responders determined that the baby was dead,More >>
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A new federal law went into effect Tuesday banning commercial truck drivers from using their cell phones while on the road.

Texting while driving is already illegal in most states, but this law goes even further to any use of hand-held phones.

Jay Dent is learning a new trade -how to drive a semi-truck at Georgia Driving Academy in Columbus.

"You not only have a steering wheel you have to mess with, you also have a gear shift.  You've got turn signals.  You've got a clutch pedal.  You've got a brake pedal, fuel, mirrors you've got to look in all the time," said Dent.

However, there is one thing he and about four million other commercial drivers in the country will not be doing: using their cell phones.

Tuesday was the first day for the federal law banning truck and bus drivers from using hand-held devices while behind the wheel.

"It pretty much means hands-free.  So, you're going to have to have a Bluetooth or some other mechanism to communicate without actually having to make multiple key entries," said Brad Barber, Georgia Driving Academy's School Director.

Barber says curriculum now includes the new regulations.  He also says the fines drivers could face if they violate the law can add up.  Drivers could be fined up to $2,750 for each offense and could lose their license after multiple offenses.  If a company allows drivers to violate the new law, it could cost up to $11,000 for each penalty.

"I think it's something that's going to strengthen the safety of the truck driver and the industry itself.  Anything you can do to reduce accidents and potentially fatalities are a positive goal," said Barber.

Drivers can also be charged for reaching for their phone if it causes them to no longer be in a seated driving position.

Dent says he has no problem with the law and hopes it cuts down on distracted driving.

They jeopardize not only themselves, but they jeopardize everybody else out here whenever they are talking and texting on the phone when driving," said Dent.

Barber says there are already built in computers in some trucks that can read text messages to drivers.

He says, now, you can expect to see a push for a law for technology like this to be placed in all commercial trucks.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.